Search Engine Optimization means using words and phrases that relate to something in news or culture that people are currently typing into search engines, blogging about or posting. By associating your business with such terms you increase the likelihood of your business showing up in search results. Every time you post text on the Internet you create something that anyone can potentially find using a search query.
Let’s explore the three most important ways you can use SEO techniques to promote your small business.
1. Leverage Your Social Media
If it hasn’t occurred to you already, social media means free advertising for anyone with a product or service to sell. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in let you promote nearly anything you wish. Small businesses often use Facebook to provide a place for potential and returning customers to communicate with a representative before making a trip to the physical site. They may want check the availability of an item or compare your product with someone else’s. By having an active presence in social media, you enable this additional avenue for your patrons to find you and to find reasons to buy what you’re selling.
Once your virtual storefront is online you want to use SEO techniques to promote it. This means using popular search terms to draw web traffic to you. This is where you get to be creative and possibly have a bit of fun. You want to get in the habit referencing items of popular culture. This should be done in a way that is conversational and friendly, which takes practice.
2. Use On-Site & Off-Site SEO
Using social media is also an example of Off-Site SEO, that is, if your Facebook page isn’t your main business page. Regardless of where your primary business page is you want to be using SEO both on it AND off of it. That means using language that links popular search terms to your business on your site and elsewhere. Think of posting fliers. You wouldn’t only put up fliers in your own parking lot, would you? Only promoting your business from your business website is equally ineffective.
It may seem brazen to go to other sites to essentially spam them posting plugs for your business. It is brazen. That’s why you must to find ways to do it artfully.
3. Using SEO Artfully
Any effective communication is done in the right place and time. Most importantly, any compelling message is well crafted and varied for use in different times and places.
For example, if I have a shop where I sell motor scooters, parts and do repair, I am not going to go to a forum that is only concerned with skiing apparel. If I’m running a scooter business I would go to a forum all about scooters. I would attempt to choose a site that draws a crowd that is as centered as possible on the region where my shop exists. And I would use my expertise to become a trusted adviser on scooter parts and repair to the users of that site. This way I would be free to say things like “When someone comes into my shop with a clogged carburetor…” This opens the gate way for more direct plugs for your business.
This is just one example of using SEO artfully. The artful use of SEO is a subject worthy of your time and experimentation. So know that by experimenting with SEO you will be doing SEO. The worst thing you can do is not to do it! So get online, experiment and have fun with it.